DUBAI — A new electronic passport with far better security features is now ready for issuance starting today, June 14, at the Philippine diplomatic missions in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai to the over 400,000 Filipino expatriates here.
The e-passport will replace the old green passport and the brown machine-readable passports (MRPs) issued to the Filipino expatriates earlier after the validity of these passports ends.
Enrollment for the e-passport will be done from 8:30am to 5pm. But, payments are accepted at the cashier only until 4pm.
Vice Consul Edwin Mendoza at the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai advised those who will enroll for the e-passport to bring along with them their old passport, a photocopy each of the front, visa and back pages of their expiring passport, and Dh240 in cash.
“Passport enrollees are no longer required to bring photographs as their pictures will be taken using e-passport data-capturing machines which are cameras directly connected to the computers at the Philippine Consulate and signature to be made on signature pads so they do not need to bring photographs,” he said.
He explained that the payment for enrolling in the e-passport is costlier by Dh40 as compared to the two previous types of passports because everything needed to process the e-passport is done in security pages and imbedded in micro chips.
Consul General Mendoza said that applying for enrollment in e-passport is done on a first come first served basis since the two permanent staff assigned to do this will be on adjustment phase.
“We will be accommodating a maximum of 80 applicants during the first few weeks and those who cannot be enrolled for the day have to make an appointment with the Philippine Consulate personally.”
He said the integrated photograph of the passport holder or his digitised secondary photograph, the electronic print of the passport holder’s signature and the overt and hidden security features are among those data imbedded in the chip that render the passport tampered-free and difficult to be copied.
Mendoza clarified that those with the old green passport and the brown MRP may continue to use the same until six months before the expiry of their passports.
“International regulations allow travellers to enter other countries if their passports are still valid for the next six months. The same should be observed by Filipino travellers, who should renew or get the new e-passport six months before the validity of their passports ends.”
He said that since the applications for the e-passports will be sent to Manila, applicants can expect to receive their passports one month from date of application.